I remember on our many trips to Mexico how I loved visiting my Tia Minerva’s home. She would prepare these great dinners for us. But before the dinner, there was always a table full of botanas and antojitos. There were churritos, durritos, spicy peanuts, pepitas, spicy pumpkin seeds, pork cueritos in escabeche, Mexican cheese, tostadas and a variety of salsas . It was always very festive. I learned to make churritos as a kid, when my dad was testing out batches of homemade corn masa. For many years, he designed and repaired commercial size corn tortillas machinery. This required him to grind and test the masa and he would save out a small portion and prepare churritos for us. He would take an empty tin can and drill holes in the bottom, pipe the masa in and push the churritos out into the hot oil. My dad was fun that way, he was so creative and could figure things out like “Macgyver” , LOL! This blog post will be all about some of my favorite antojitos I enjoyed growing up and how you can prepare a homemade version.
1 1/2 cups warm water or chicken broth
2 teaspoons annatto powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups masa harina
3 cups canola oil
Chile Limon seasoning like homemade or store bought, Tajin brand
1. In a bowl, mix the water or broth, annatto powder and salt. Gradually add in the masa harina and mix until dough forms. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
2. Fill a diposable pastry bag with masa and cut off the tip. In a heavy pan, preheat your oil to 350 to 365 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near pan of oil. Now you can pipe in one continous piece of masa or you can pipe in a 2 inch section and quickly cut with knife. I tried both methods and the 2 inch section worked best for me.
3. Fry about 12 to 15 churritos at one time for 4 minutes or until crispy. Drain onto lined baking sheets and season with chile limon powder while they are still warm. Continue frying until they are all done. Cool completely before storing in an airtight storage bag. They will keep for 3 to 5 days at room temperature. Yields about 3 cups.
4. The Durritos come premade in a variety of shapes. Only drop a few at a time into hot oil. They fry quickly! Remove from oil and season while they are warm.
Pepitas de Calabaza~ Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (In the shell) Recipe
2 cups cleaned and rinsed pumpkin seeds (fresh from your pumpkin)
juice of 2 small lemons or limes
2 tablespoons tamarindo concentrate
1/2 teaspoon chile de arbol powder or cayenne pepper
1/3 teaspoon smoked serrano powder or chipotle pepper
3 teaspoons Tajin chile limon powder
Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir well and taste for salt. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little more chile limon powder. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring and spreading back out evenly every 5 to 6 minutes. Make sure you really watch them those last few minutes or they will burn. They will crisp up as they cool. Cool completely and store in a loose covered container. *Too much moisture may cause them to mold because they are so fresh.
Clamatongo estilo Batilongo.
This for me is more like a meal than an antojito. I saw a picture come down the newsfeed on Pinterest one day and I had to investigate!! Come to find out, there is a real place of business named “Batilongo”. You can get a generous cup full of some of your favorite Mexican antojitos. You can choose from a variety fresh fruits, peanuts, tamarindo, churritos and so much more. Lime, chile limon powder and salsa botanera are some of the key ingredients as well. And of course you know I had to add some things I like, chile de arbol powder, jalapeño, fresno and mango enchilado. Made for a super kicked up Bloody Mary!
Tips~ I ordered all of my favorites from MexGrocer out of San Diego. Excellent customer service, product delivered right to your door!
1 1/2 cups clamato, if you don’t like clamato, substitute with spicy V-8
juice of 3 key limes
2 teaspoons chile limon
1 teaspoon chile de arbol powder
2 tablespoons Valentina hot sauce or to taste
salt to taste
1 cup jicama diced
1 cup english cucumber, diced
1 jalapeño, sliced
1 fresno, sliced
1/2 cup japanese peanuts
1/3 cup pulparindo or mango enchilado, diced small
more valentina and salsa chamoy
more chile limon
Adult Antojitos~Add 1/2 cup citrus vodka! Oh Man!
1. In a bowl, combine the clamato, lime juice, 2 teaspoons chile limon, chile de arbol, valentina and salt to taste. Then add in the jicama and cucumbers and hot peppers. Mix, cover and let marinate for a few hours or overnight.
2. To serve, divide into two to four dishes with the marinated mixture. Top with japones cocktail peanuts, mango or pulparindo, valentina and chile limon.
Tips~Clamatongo Cocktail. If adding vodka, add it to the mixture after it marinates and before garnishing.
Recipe for Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning
2 cups chile de arbol (dried)
2 chipotle peppers (dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons sour salt (citric acid)
Kosher salt to taste (I added about 3 1/2 teaspoons)
1. Remove any stems from dried chiles if they have any. Leave seeds in. Add the dried chiles to a skillet. Heat to medium/low heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning often. You just want the peppers to become slightly aromatic and dry out a little more.
2. In batches, grind the peppers to a coarse grind using a spice grinder or coffee bean grinder. I only use my coffee grinder for spices only.
3. Combine the ground up chiles with sour salt and kosher salt to taste. Keep store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup. My favorite way to enjoy the chile limon seasoning is on fresh fruit.
Tips~ I only use my coffee grinder for spices. They are fairly inexpensive, so I would suggest using it only for spices.
Fresh fruits, pineapple, watermelon, mango with cucumbers and jicama, lime juice, chile limon powder and hot sauce!